The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is classifying cannabis growing as a farming sector, thereby entitling the growers to support, grants, water quotas, and training in crop growing.
Calculations by the ministry show that it costs NIS 1.5 million to set up a one-dunam (0.25-acre) cannabis farm. It costs 0.85% of this amount to double the farm's size to two dunam, and 0.75% of this amount to increase it to three dunam. Assuming that the cannabis is sold for NIS 10 per gram, cannabis growing is profitable only when a grower has at least four dunam (one acre), with the return on such a farm being NIS 380,000 per dunam (NIS 1.52 million per acre).
The cannabis to be recognized as a farming sector is medical grade cannabis. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development noted that the most recent branch to be classified as a farming sector was a decade ago, when the horse sector was recognized.
According to assessments by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's experts and a survey of the interest in local growing of cannabis expressed by countries, it appears that the medical cannabis market for Israeli exports will amount to NIS 1-4 billion a year. The ministry says that it expected only 15-20 growers.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is hinting that the attitude in Israel should probably change, stating, "The use of cannabis for medical purposes is relatively new in Israel and worldwide, and its status is still controversial. Dealing and using cannabis is still illegal in most of the world's countries, but it appears that the use of cannabis for medical purposes is gaining popularity in many countries, and an increasing number of studies are confirming the positive effects of cannabis, while showing its risks and damage."
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently allocated NIS 8 million for 13 biochemical and studies and studies for improving medical cannabis growing. These studies are enabling researchers to conduct basic and applied research, and to develop tools and research infrastructure for the next generation of medical cannabis products.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on September 19, 2017
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